Owners face £100 fine for missing deadline

Tax Returns

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has warned business owners who intend to file paper self-assessment tax returns that they must do so before the new deadline of 31st October or face an automatic penalty of £100.

Self–employed entrepreneurs filing paper returns could previously file up to 31st January, but the extra three months are now only given to people filing their self–assessment online.

Tax Returns

The new deadline is part of a drive by HMRC to encourage business owners to switch to online filing. Last year, 3.8 million people filed an online return – an increase of almost a million over 2006.

HMRC has also called on business owners who stick to the old paper filing system to start collecting the documents they need in good time, including their P60s, self–employed accounts, records of savings and investments and details of untaxed income.

If they receive the paperwork by 31st October deadline, HMRC will calculate the tax owing, inform business owners what must be paid and collect any sum less than £2,000 via their tax code.

Whether the return is submitted by paper or online, any balance of tax must be paid by 31st January. After this daily interest will be charged until the amount is paid. If the balancing payment has not been received before 28th February, a 5% surcharge will be charged on any amount outstanding, in addition to any interest payments.

A further 5% surcharge will be added on 31st July if the payment has not been made.

HMRC announced in April that it will no longer accept paper facsimile tax returns generated by tax computation programmes, and will instead only accept those printed on original tax forms or the new PDF version which can be found on the HMRC website.

For guidance and advice on completing a Self Assessment tax return, visit the HMRC website or call the Self Assessment helpline on 0845 9000 444.

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